Top 5 Reasons You Should Hire a Landscape Contractor Right Now!

Sometimes, we’ve got projects in our landscape that we can handle. A small firepit, laying some new patio stones, or maybe mulching. But when it comes to a landscape overhaul, we feel it is best to hire a landscape contractor, and it isn’t just because we want your business. It really is mostly beneficial to you, and here are the top 5 reasons why.

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5 Reasons To Hire a Landscape Contractor

  1. It could save you money. Let me rephrase that, you will most likely save money. Often, contractors get deals with suppliers for large pieces like firplaces or pools, as well as special deals on small things like pavers and more. In addition, we see it more often than not DIYers starting a landscape project that gets away from them, and the repair costs can be more than it owuld have to complete the project correctly on its own. If you are planning a major landscaping change, hiring a landscape contractor will save you money 90% of the time.
  2. It will be done quicker. Instead of wasting the entire summer working on your yard, it will eb done before we even start busting out the BBQs. Enjoy your yard instead of sacrificing the entire sunny season, we don’t get enough sun as it is here in Oregon!
  3. You will get what you want – no settling. When you get in a pickle on your DIY landscape project we often start cutting corners and settling for things we don’t really want. Different colors, or doing something the cheap way. By hiring a landscape contractor, there are rarely surprises. Contractors know what things cost and are really good at informing clients upfront about any potential surprises that may occur. In the end, clients get exactly what they wanted with little room for settling.
  4. Your brain and body will thank you. Sometimes, doing your own landscape overhaul can be like a chef trying to perform brain surgery. We all have different skills and talents, and landscaping is not everyone’s – and that is okay. The more bogged down your brain gets thinking about your landscaping, and the more your body is exhausted fromt eh physical labor, the more apt you are to not be performing at your best. Leaving it to those who’ve put in the time to become experts in their field does have its advantages – and you will sleep far better at night not worrying if you installed that irrigation system correctly or if you water bill will be through the roof next month.
  5. They are experts and have a lot more experience than you. There are reasons they do what they do. If you’ve done your due diligence and are pleased with their past work, there is good reason to trust your landscape contractor. They will be more efficient and cost effective than you. A good landscape contractor will also tell you when you are out of your mind. If there is no way to install an inground pool, your contractor should tell you that upfront. Let’s face it, you’d probably try to do it and fail miserably.awards1

Bottom line – don’t fail miserably. Call us now to help you get your landscape overhaul done before your ready to hop into the pool. To get a better idea of our work check out our picture galleries.

We always provide a free quote, so give as a ring and let’s discuss your dream landscape.

2014 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show Photo Review

Well, we are excited to have completed our most ambitious endeavor yet at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show just a few weeks ago. With months and months of planning, the All Oregon Landscaping team put up a display that left most show-goers swooning. Complete with spaces for everyone in the family, this landscape design was polished, refined, and well thought out. Tony Prunty created the “hardscape layout” of the garden’s base and Elida Rivera finalized the design in a fabulous “team effort.”  We are lucky to have both of them as part of the All Oregon Landscaping team.

The week leading up to the opening of the show is hectic at best, and it takes a lot of organization skills to pull off such a grand design implemented in four days.  Thanks to Tony Prunty and our fabulous crew, our design came together right on time, and with every detail executed seamlessly. At the end of a long week of preparations, it is time for the judges to have their say.

The Judging Process at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show

The judging process at the show is a bit different than you might think. Every display is set up without any signage or representation of which company has designed which display. The three judges were hand selected from outside the Portland Metropolitan Area.  They are all professionals within the landscaping industry, such as published authors, landscape architects, horticulturalists, and highly sought after “guest speakers” that fully understand all of the elements that are essential in developing and implementing an award-winning garden.  The judging was performed prior to the show opening to the public on that Friday morning.  They judges were able to experience and critique each display and pour over the details and design elements implemented in each garden.  In the end, the process of choosing which displays receive awards is done without any of the judges having any inkling as to who is responsible for each design.

The way the judging takes place makes us even prouder of winning both the Best in Show and Best Use of Space awards at this year’s Yard, Garden, and Patio Show. Let us know if you agree with the judges on our design, by checking out this photo gallery of selected images from our display.

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BEST OF SHOW

1st Place: All Oregon Landscaping Inc., Inside Out: A Family Portrait
2nd Place: Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping & Garden Centers, Come Alive Outside
3rd Place: Autumn Leaf Landscaping Inc., Abstract Reflections

 

BEST OF CATEGORY

Best Use of Space: All Oregon Landscaping Inc., Inside Out: A Family Portrait
Best Use of Plants: Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping & Garden Centers, Come Alive Outside
Best Use of Color: Autumn Leaf Landscaping Inc., Abstract Reflections

 

If you’d like to read more about what it takes to get a grand display like this inside of a building, take a peek at some of our past posts that include photos of how we made it happen.

As always, we love hearing your biggest yard ideas and then helping them become a reality. We handle all aspects of landscape design and offer a free quote for any of our services.

Plant Onions Now for the Biggest Bulbs

Throughout the food world, Oregonians are known as what are called “localvores”. The term “localvore” refers to a people who prefer to eat locally sourced foods as opposed to seeking out labels like “all natural” or “organic”. It explains why our Oregon Farmer’s Markets are so popular and why a lot of Oregonians have produce gardens in their yards. All Oregon Landscaping clients often want vegetable gardens or herb gardens to coincide with their fabulously designed outdoor kitchens and cooking areas. We do our best to meet every need, including helping to jump start the perfect vegetable garden for a client. Now that it is spring, there is a lot of hub bub going around about what to plant and when to plant it. The bottom line when it comes to the best onions in Oregon? Plant them now for the best results.

Plant Onions in April for the Biggest Bulbs

growing onions in oregonAlright, here is your plant word of the day, “photoperiodic”. Photoperiodic refers to plants that have lifecycles that are sensitive to day length. Onions are photoperiodic and usually begin bulbing when the amount of sunlight per day reaches around 14 hours. By planting your onions in April, the plants will be fairly large by the time the days reach 14 hours of sunlight, resulting in larger onions. Onions can be grown in almost any type of soil. Just make sure it has good fertility, drainage and tilth. Onions respond well to both compost and commercial fertilizers. Plant onion seeds a half inch deep at a rate of one to five seeds per inch. Thin seedlings after they are established. For large dry onions, thin seedlings to two to three inches apart, and for boilers and green onions, plant about a half-inch to an inch. The key to getting good seed establishment is to keep soil moist so it doesn’t form a hard crust over the top.

Best Varietals to grow In Oregon

The following are the best onion varietals to grow in Oregon according to the Oregon State University Extension Center.

  • Yellow: Copra, Prince, First Edition, Millennium, Fiesta, Frontier, New York Early
  • Overwintering: Buffalo, Walla Walla Sweet
  • Red: Red Wing, Benny’s Red
  • White: White Sweet Spanish, Superstar, Blanco Duro
  • Green bunching: Ishikura, Tokyo Long White, Hishiko

Other Landscaping Questions?

Have landscaping questions that are about more than growing the best onions? We can help. We’ve got landscape inspiration on our blog, tips, advice and more. We are gearing up for a big season this year and are happy to meet with you to discuss your biggest or smallest landscaping needs. Contact us about your garden, pool, water feature, custom outdoor kitchens, pergola, or patio ideas anytime. We work throughout the Portland area including Beaverton, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Hillsboro, Tualatin, Sherwood, West Linn, Oregon City, and more.

The 2014 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show is Here!

Today is the day! This morning the floodgates open at the Oregon Convention Center for another fabulous few days celebrating the best the Portland area has to offer in landscape design at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show. The All Oregon Landscaping exhibit is no exception; this year we developed the most intricate display yet. The focus is on the family, and finding multiple uses for your outdoor space and incorporating the highest technology in your landscape design. If you’d like to see a bit more about our design for this year’s Yard, Garden, and Patio Show, check out our previous post, Plans For the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show 2014. Here’s what our 2014 plans looked like on paper.

3D model of our display garden for the 2014 YGP show.
3D Model of our display plan for the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show.

How the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show Display Comes Together

The week leading up to the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show is a culmination of months of preparations, and can be hectic, rushed, and quite crazy. Our fearless leader, Tony Prunty, always does a fabulous job of getting the details exactly right, and organizing the team so that every facet of the design is carried to perfection. The week begins on Monday with flatbed trucks, U-Hauls, and backhoes inside the Oregon Convention Center, unloading and moving materials about. As the week progresses, elements of the landscape design are thoughtfully crafted; starting with big features like running water then followed by smaller features like shrubs and trees. By Friday, we are dressing the exhibit with flowers, pots, and lighting up the fireplace.

We’ve been posting lots of pictures to Facebook this year, and here is a little photo album of how we’ve created this year’s intricate display over the last four days. Yep, this was all put together in only four days!

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Come on out and visit us at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show. It runs through Sunday, March 2nd, and has the most extensive collection of landscaping companies, ideas, and designers in the Portland area. You’ll be happy you came by.

2013 Was Great, But 2014 Will Be Better!

When you look back at the year All Oregon Landscaping had in 2013, you think “Wow. That was a lot.” It really was. A plethora of work led us all over the Portland and Vancouver area to places like Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Oregon City, Sherwood, and more. It was a wild ride, but we’ve loved every moment. Transforming yards into dream-worthy landscapes is a fun job to have. Here’s a recap of what 2013 was like at All Oregon Landscaping.

2013 – Landscape Designs and Being on Television

XGrass Partnership

Example of artificial turf landscape with pond and rock retaining walls.
All Oregon Landscaping partnered with XGrass in 2013.

In early 2013 we signed a deal with XGrass to provide installation of synthetic lawns. The artificial lawn business is gaining around 20% each year, so we know that more and more people are looking for this type of sustainable solution. We are grateful to be able to provide a high quality synthetic option for those seeking it. You can read more about XGrass and our partnership in our post, Synthetic Lawns are a Safe and Sustainable Solution for Oregon Homes.

KOIN Local 6 Television Special

Sherwood residence featured on KOIN Local 6.

 

Fire Pit and Seating Area by All Oregon Landscaping
Outdoor seating area with integrated fire pit. Sherwood residence featured on KOIN Local 6.

Later in 2013 we were honored to be asked to participate in KOIN Local 6’s Fall Home Refresh Series. Aired alongside weekend football, it was the perfect opportunity to show off some of the great work we did at a local Sherwood Residence. If you want to see more about the special and the Sherwood residence, visit our post, Sherwood Residence featured on KOIN Local 6 Fall Home Refresh.

2014 – The Yard Show Starts Us With A Bang

Custom outdoor fireplace installed for Yard Garden and Patio show.
Our display from a previous Yard, Garden, and Patio Show.

The Yard, Garden, and Patio Show is just around the corner (Feb. 28- March 2nd) and we are already getting pieces put together to make this our best display yet. We’ve made things wow-worthy in the past, but this year we are taking things to the next level. Keep tuned to our blog and Facebook for the latest on our display, and be sure to  read, Plans For The Yard, Garden, and Patio Show 2014.

We are sure 2014 is going to be even better than 2013. If you want to be part of our 2014 story, give us a ring now! January and February are the best months for planning your landscape design. The winter months are prime for native plants and bulbs. Also, we can get a jump-start on any bigger projects like custom countertops, fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, kitchens, and more. Together, let’s make 2014 the year of amazing  landscaping!

Plans for the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show 2014

We are excited to be participating in the 2014 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show. After a little hiatus from the chaos the past few years, we are gearing up to make the 2014 show one of our best! Be sure to set a day aside between February 28th and March 2nd to come see our display garden and all the other wonderful vendors at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show. Here’s what we’ve been working on for our display.

All Oregon Landscaping’s Design Plan for 2014

We’ve got big plans for the 2014 Yard, Garden, Patio show. We’ve been scheming for months and so far we’ve chosen to focus on the family in the 2014 design. You’ll see multiple use spaces for every family activity including outdoor cooking, dining, relaxation, and entertainment. The entertainment area will be state-of-the art, showcasing all of the newest ways to include technology in your outdoor entertainment area. This outdoor living room will be complete with a television, sound system, and fireplace.  On the upper terrace you’ll find a relaxation area, which includes a comforting fire pit. All Oregon Landscaping will also include an outdoor kitchen area worth swooning over. Look for innovative cooking design with an eye for functionality and elegance.  Want to see a sneak peek? We thought so.

Sneak Peek at Yard, Garden, and Patio Show 2014 Design

All Oregon Landscaping's 3D landscape design for the 2014 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show.
All Oregon Landscaping’s preliminary landscape design for the 2014 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show.

Don’t believe it’s going to be that great? Check out our past Yard, Garden, and Patio Show displays in these previous posts for more proof:

The final design plan is likely to spotlight the use of lighting and plant design to accentuate each area. Outdoor lighting and plant design are what merge each area together and offers a cohesive appeal to their entire landscape design.

Getting ready for the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show is a show in itself. It takes a logistical expert, hundreds of man hours, and a lot of determination to get the display ready. Think dump trucks, forklifts, and bull dozers indoors. Yes, really. It takes almost as long as the show runs to set it up, and with a staunch deadline, there is no room for error. We’ll fill you in on how all of that works in posts as we get closer to the 2014 show. Have ideas about what you like in the display? Leave us a comment or tell us on Facebook.

Build a Rain Garden: Be Proactive with a Functioning Stormwater Facility

While the cold temperatures have many of us huddled inside with little thought of working outdoors, now is the perfect time to start planning your spring landscaping projects. A rain garden is a great venture that can provide many benefits to you, your yard, and the environment.

What is a Rain Garden?

Think of it as a shallow landscaped hole designed to capture excess rainwater from impermeable areas around your home such as your roof, sidewalks and other hard surfaces. This runoff would normally end up in the storm drain system and flow out to our rivers and waterways which causes erosion, flooding, water pollution and decreased groundwater. Rain gardens also help conserve H2O by reducing the need for irrigation, and some municipal water agencies even offer discounts in storm water charges.  In addition to creating an ecological force field and saving money, you’ll be building a habitat for insects, birds and amphibians. How neighborly of you!

Proper Planning is Key to an Efficient Rain Garden

Choose an area that runoff naturally flows through. The idea is to capture this water before it enters the drain system and instead, allow it to absorb back into the ground.  Excavate an area to about a foot and a half, although it may need to be deeper depending on the soil absorbency. Don’t forget to call the local utility notification center prior to digging! In Oregon the number is 811 and the service is free. The excavated area will then need to be filled with high permeability soils. Finally, you’ll want to pick out some drought and wet-tolerant vegetation to be planted.

Choosing the Most Effective Plants

Ideally you want to select plants that do not require additional water. Native plants are a great choice, but it’s a good idea to research the amount of sunlight the area gets per day, the size of the matured plant, and its seasonality. You may also want to consider if the plants attract beneficial insects and/or wildlife. Finally, don’t forget that you want your rain garden to be aesthetically appealing in addition to being a place to capture and treat runoff.

While a rain garden requires careful planning, the benefits can be enjoyed with little maintenance once the job is completed. Whether you choose to tackle a rain garden project yourself or need some assistance, the experts at  All Oregon are available to answer any questions you have or to help you start preparation now. Post your inquiries in the comment section here, or on our Facebook page.

Caring for Live Christmas Trees and Poinsettias

With Thanksgiving this week, it officially rings in the holiday season, and for us in the plant and landscaping world, that means live Christmas trees and poinsettias. There are important factors in keeping both thriving throughout the holidays, so here is our advice.

Christmas Tree Care

Some don’t feel Christmas is real without a fresh-cut Christmas tree. Unfortunately, these days most fresh-cut trees in tree lots aren’t exactly fresh. Unless you’ve cut the tree yourself, you will need to prepare the tree before putting it int he stand. To do this, slice an extra inch off of the bottom of the trunk to allow the tree to establish a good channel for absorbing water. When the bottom of the tree dries out, it blocks the tree from taking in water and it will quickly become an instant fire hazard. You’ll want to  make the cut flat across and avoid bruising it or getting it dirty. Then get the tree into water right away. Removing the bottom of the tree trunk is the most important thing to remember about live Christmas trees. Other things to keep in mind are as follows.

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Live Christmas Tree Tips

  1.  Using a traditional reservoir type stand is the most effective way of maintaining their freshness and minimizing needle loss.
  2. The base of the tree should ALWAYS be submerged in water.
  3. Get the right tree stand. It should be able to hold 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. It also needs to be large enough to hold the trunk without shaving off the sides. The outer layers of the wood are the best at soaking in water and should not be removed.
  4. Although tempting, don’t put the tree next to the fireplace. It will dry out and become a fire hazard. Same goes for next to a vent or heater.
  5. Using smaller lights helps prevent the death of the tree. Miniature or LED lights are best.

In addition, there are also a lot of watering myths out there. Adding aspirin or anything else to the water won’t help. The water temperature doesn’t matter, and drilling a hole in the trunk isn’t going to do anything.  If all of this fuss is too much for you, consider a fake Christmas tree, a rental tree, or one the can be planted in the yard after Christmas.  Planting your Christmas trees each year can be a fun family tradition that keeps on giving to you, your family , and the Earth. In Oregon, we have several companies offering this type of tree. You can read more about it on inhabitat.com.

Poinsettia Care

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Poinsettias are tropical plants and prefer a great deal of sun. Find an east, west, or south-facing window to situate your poinsettia in. Temperature is very important. You’ll want to keep your poinsettias in a room between 65 and 75 degrees at all times. Dipping a little lower at night may be okay, but temperature quickly effects these temperamental plants. Avoid letting the leaves touch a cold window or cold drafts to reach the plant. When the temperature isn’t right for a poinsettia, it starts losing leaves and becomes very sad-looking very quickly. Water a poinsettia when the surface of the dirt is dry. Water until it flows out the bottom, but be careful not to over-water. In the winter, houses lack humidity, so you will probably find yourself watering your poinsettas every day throughout the holidays.

Whether it is live Christmas trees, poinsettias, or an entire landscape, All Oregon remains industry experts in everything to do with your yard. Feel free to ask questions in the comments, or post them to our Facebook page.

Christmas tree photo by JJ Harrison (jjharrison89@facebook.com) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Poinsettia photo by Vouliagmeni (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

How To Use Fall Foliage To Decorate Throughout the Holidays

Pine branches, pine cones, and dehydrated fruits make great holiday decorations! Bring your landscape inside by using fresh fall foliage to scent and add a festive appeal to your home. There are several things you can create, but nothing beat those cinnamon pine cones. Dehydrated fruits are perhaps the oldest known Christmas decorations, so creating garlands, wreaths, and centerpieces with them gives your home that warm, traditional, holiday feel.

fall foliage taken by Alyssa Roehrenbeck in Lake Oswego, Orgon

Cinnamon Pine Cones

Cinnamon pine cones are easy to make. You’ll need pine cones (in Oregon these are plentiful), baking trays, aluminum foil, cinnamon scented oil (found at craft stores), cinnamon sticks, an old craft paint brush, and resealable bags. First, gather your pine cones and clean them with water. Next, dry them back out by baking on aluminum foil lined baking sheets for 20 minutes at about 250 degrees. Let them cool. Use the paintbrush to paint the scented oil onto each pine cone. Then, fill up the resealable bags with pine cones, tossing in a few extra drops of scent and real cinnamon sticks. Shake and let sit for 1-2 weeks. After 1-2 weeks, the cinnamon scenet will be properly infused. Use them all around your house to make things smell good, or give them away as small gifts!

Dehydrating Fruits For Holiday Decorations

Slides of Oranges

Apples, pears, oranges, and cranberries make beautiful holiday decorations. Use whatever you have growing in your yard. In Oregon, that probably means an overflow of apples and pears right about now. You can even use the less than perfect apples and pears for the decorations. Once you’ve got them collected up and cleaned, you’ll need to prepare them for the dehydrator. There are two steps for this.

  1. Cutting – Only cut as much as will fit into your dehydrator or on trays in your oven. The most important thing is to cut them as evenly as possible. If you are making gifts or want them perfect, use a mandolin. A mandolin will make the slicing infinitely easier and is worth the investment. Slicing the fruit evenly will help everything dehydrate at the same rate and will save you a lot of babysitting time.
  2. Treat them to keep the color. There are several ways to do this, but my favorite is to keep a big bowl of cool water with a cup of lemon juice in it. Once cut, just toss the fruit in and swirl until you are ready to place them in the dehydrator.

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The preparation is the hardest part, once all the cutting is done, just place the fruit in the dehydrator and flip it on. You can also dry fruit by placing them in the oven at 200 degrees. Check them often. You don’t want to over dehydrate, but if you don’t get all the moisture out, you will develop a mold problem. So make sure they are really dry before calling them done!

Once you’ve got your cinnamon pine cones and dried fruit ready, the holiday decor ideas are endless. Tie them together to make garland for the tree or the fireplace mantle. Twine is a great choice to continue with the warm Christmas feel. Grab some small pine branches from your yard and you’ve got all the right tools for a wreath or centerpiece.  You can also make ornaments and potpourri. Some of my favorite holiday decor ideas are the following.

Dried Fruit Garland

Baked Fruit Ornaments

In Oregon, we have plentiful fall foliage, so don’t miss the opportunity to use your landscape for something just a little different this holiday season. Share you handmade holiday decorations with us on our Facebook page.

Why Fall is Perfect for Planning Your Landscape Overhaul

as-seen-on-koin-cornerFall is the perfect time to begin planning your landscape overhaul. It takes time to get everything in your landscape design just right, so starting in the fall makes perfect sense. KOIN Local 6, a Portland News Station agreed with us in airing a series specifically designed to show off how home improvement can be beneficial in the fall. Titled, Fall Home Refresh, this series shows off the immaculate details of a local Sherwood residence where we were honored to complete an intricate landscape design spanning several outdoor rooms. We’ve recapped the important pieces of the landscape design in our recent blog post, “Sherwood Residence Featured on KOIN Local 6 Fall Home Refresh“. Here’s a little more insight into how our design process works.

Sherwood Residence Featured on KOIN Local 6

Sherwood Before and After

 

 

How the Landscape Design Process Works with All Oregon Landscaping

We have a proven system for initiating work with new clients. All of our landscaping clients receive a visit from our landscape design experts who walk the property with the clients, learning all of their wants and needs. Our experts pay attention to the big and small details, asking as many  questions as necessary to get the full picture of how you’d love your yard to appear. It is important to also discuss the budget so that our designers can effectively provide a feasible design for your yard. They then return to our All Oregon Landscaping offices where they do their best to bring your landscape dreams to life. Drawing out every detail, they don’ t release a landscape design until they are positive they have worked through the best solutions available for your yard.

Once our design is done, it is presented to the clients for approval and scrutiny. We work closely together to tie up any loose ends in the design and agree on the final price. Once that is settled, we get to work making it all a reality. Working alongside our landscape design experts, we’ve hired the best there is to install and add the finishing touches to all of our elaborate landscape designs. The Sherwood residence featured on KOIN local 6 is an excellent example of the quality and precision we strive for in every yard. We want all of our clients to be amazed with what our team can do, and hope that you will give us the opportunity. Call today to get a free estimate!